Opioid-related deaths have doubled from 2019 to 2021, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Health. This means the demand for Narcan has also gone up — but it’s not so easy to come by.
“It should be widely available; it isn’t necessarily so,” said Orion Mowbray, associate dean for research at the University of Georgia School of Social Work. “Any effort we can take to keep people safe, healthy, and alive is a good one.”
One Georgia biker group is making this effort delivering Narcan by the boxes to address the opioid epidemic.
The Grateful Few of Jackson County is made up of people who have dealt with and are recovering from opioid abuse. They work to help others find recovery and deliver Narcan to law enforcement agencies all over the state in hopes of saving someone from a fatal overdose.
Grateful Few President John Sidders almost experienced one of these fatal overdoses more than 25 years ago.
“I overdosed on I assume what was fentanyl, I really don’t know,” Sidders explained. “But, the nurse said, you flatlined three times, we’ve had to bring you back.”
The group delivered a total of 200 boxes of Narcan in 2022, but that number has already been surpassed this year, as they have delivered 250 boxes in less than three months.
The need is there. And it’s growing,” Jon Langston, the group’s co-founder, said.
The Grateful Few continues to ride the highways of Georgia supplying Narcan to those on the front line.
“We’re making people see that overdose deaths are real, and that this will save people’s lives,” said Langston.
Sydney Hood and Clay Britton are senior journalism majors at the University of Georgia.
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